5 Black Must-Haves for Every Wardrobe

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Black is one of my favorite classic colors. If it’s not yours, I’m here to change your mind and help you embrace the ultimate classic color that is perfect for every wardrobe. There really is no point in hesitating – black will never go out of style.

Why Black Will Never Go Out of Style

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  • Black makes you look slim and hides imperfections. The number one reason why women everywhere love to wear black is that it is thinning! The color works to make you look slim, and it also helps to hide any fat or imperfections you may have.

  • Black is sexy and classy. If you are ever unsure what color is appropriate to wear in what setting, you can never go wrong with black. Black holds the title for being both classy AND sexy.

  • Black is easy to accessorize and pair. This simple color is also well-loved because it is so easy to accessorize or coordinate outfits with! When you wear black, you can wear all different colored accessories. Likewise, a black shirt pairs with any color pants and black pants pair well with any color shirt. With this in mind, having black essentials in your wardrobe makes it easier for you to get dressed in less amount of time.

  • Black knows no age, season, or skin tones. You can wear black no matter how old you are, what season it is, or what your skin tone is like. Black works in the summer as well as the winter. It looks great on pale or dark skin. Black makes both college girls and their grandmothers look on-trend.

The 5 Black Must-Haves for Every Female Wardrobe

Now that I have convinced you that black is here to stay and is a must for your wardrobe, let me break down five of the essential black wardrobe pieces you should own.

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Black Shoes – Of course I am going to start with shoes! Because of my love for shoes, I can’t narrow it down to one type of black shoes. Let’s just say you need to have a fabulous pair of black shoes for each season and a pair of black dress shoes for any formal occasions.

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An LBD – Ladies, if you do not own an LBD (little black dress), you need to head to the store right away! This is a quintessential wardrobe piece that will come in handy at a moment’s notice. Sudden formal invite? An LBD is perfect!

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A Black Coat – Coats come in many colors, but if you want a coat that will still be fashionable years later, go with black.

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Black Pants – Black pants (or trousers) are slimming and another key piece of any woman’s wardrobe as they can be paired with a variety of different colored tops.

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A Black Purse – As purse crazy as I am, I am the first to admit that a black bag should be a top priority. Not only will the color never go out of style, but a black bag hides stains and dirt.

It’s Time to Stop Looking at Your Pics Only on Your Phone and Print Them Out

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Moms, we have a problem. We have started to rely solely on our phones to collect and store all of our precious photos. I’m guilty of this, and I bet you are, too. I take tons of pictures on my phone every day, but for what purpose? It’s not like I am printing them out or viewing them regularly. They are just taking up memory space on my phone.

I’m not telling you to stop taking pictures. No way! I think the ability to snap pics anytime we want is one of the best things about modern technology. What I am talking about is the fact that we don’t ever print them out. Why take all these pics if you aren’t ever going to see them? If you have countless photos stored on your phone but not on your walls, this one is for you.

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Technology will fail.

We have all experienced a technology fail. As much as we would like to believe our photos are safe on our phones or our computers, these things crash, and our photos crash right alongside them. Plus, even if you have wisely uploaded all your photos to a cloud storage system, it doesn’t mean you will always have the technology to access and view them.

You will actually look at them.

If you are anything like me, you do look through photos on your phone. However, with the huge number of photos, you likely don’t go all the way back and look at photos from years ago. Who does that? Many moms rely solely on social media flashbacks to see their old pics. But, if you have them printed out, you will actually look at the pics from years past.

They make great gifts.

Few things make grandparents happier than receiving a printed photo of their grandkids. Just go ahead and make your life easier at the holidays by printing off a few of your best pics and purchasing a variety of frames.

They are the best ways to personalize your décor.

We all want our house to feel like a home. One way to achieve this is to personalize your décor using photos of your family. Now this will vary according to your style tastes. I don’t like a lot of clutter on my walls, but I still think you can very tastefully decorate with personal photos.

Your kids will thank you.

Let’s face it. Someday we will no longer be here, and our kids will want to have something physical to remember us by. Our photo albums and prints will be precious to them, just like we treasure our parent’s scrapbooks.

Here are some fun things to do with your prints:

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  • Old-fashioned photo album – There is nothing wrong with using an old-fashioned photo album to store your prints. The fact is it is a book you and your kids can look through from time to time – no need to be fancy unless you want to.

  • Printed scrapbooks – There are so many companies, such as Shutterfly, that allow you to create customized scrapbooks online using your digital photos. For the moms who are the busiest, there is also Chatbooks, which regularly prints out your Instagram photos and send them to you in a book.

  • Make stickers or postcards – In addition to the more traditional ways to print out photos, there are online companies which make it easy to turn your Instagram pics into stickers or postcards. These are perfect for school-aged kids!

  • Create a gallery wall – As shown above, I recently used Storyboards to create a gallery wall in the breakfast nook of my home of some of my favorite pics. I am over the moon with how well it turned out! It was super easy and looks awesome.

Have You Played Today? Why Adults Should Embrace Play

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“It’s never too late to have a happy childhood.”

Remember when recess was the best part of the day? Why is it that adults stop playing? Why are we always so serious? If you have been wondering why you are feeling down, consider the last time you played. I’m willing to bet it is has been a long time since you genuinely played. True play uplifts your spirits!

As a working mom, I get it. We are so busy that it is hard to find time to play. Then, when we do have time, we feel a little guilty. No more! According to psychologists, play is vital (especially for adults!). One researcher told the Washington Post, “Play is a basic human need as essential to our well-being as sleep, so when we’re low on play, our minds and bodies notice.”

To help you get past the guilt of playing, check out these five solid reasons for giving childlike play a place in your life.

Play to bond.

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Playing is fun, and if you are having fun with the ones you love, you are making memories. Play creates bonding opportunities between parents and their kids; plus, play is also a wonderful way to bond with your partner or rekindle the flames.

Play to relieve stress.

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Playing is a great way to release tension. When you play, you can escape what is worrying you. If you are facing a stressful situation, you can playful attitude can help you handle it in stride. One study found playful personality types “reported less stress in their lives and possessed better coping skills. Perhaps they have these attributes because they are better able to keep stress in perspective.”

Play to increase overall satisfaction.

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When you key into the type of play you enjoy and find ways to play this way more regularly, you will find more satisfaction in your life overall. Some companies have even embraced the idea by incorporating play into their offices or by taking employees on fun outings where they can play like kids (such as go-karting).

Play to strengthen cognitive skills.

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Numerous studies have proven that playing games improves cognitive skills, which is why older adults are encouraged to play such games. Help Guide explains, “Playing chess, completing puzzles, or pursuing other fun activities that challenge the brain can help prevent memory problems and improve brain function.” But why wait until you are elderly? Start playing puzzle games on your cell phone today!

Play to improve your health.

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According to KCHA, “Playing can boost your energy and vitality and even improve your resistance to disease, helping you feel your best.” A natural benefit of physical play is that it is good for your heart and overall health. If you loved riding your bike as a kid or enjoyed roller skating, it is time to bust them out again! Have active fun and stay healthy!

Your assignment for today

Do something you loved doing as a kid. Embrace play — comment below to tell me what you did.

Last Minute Father’s Day Gift Ideas for the Procrastinators

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"A father carries pictures where his money used to be." - Steve Martin

Yikes! Father’s Day 2019 is THIS Sunday! Are you prepared? While we all want to do something nice to show our partner-in-parenting-crimes he is appreciated, life gets in the way. Father’s Day can sneak up on us – especially at the end of the school year and start of summer. If that sounds familiar, I’ve got you covered. Today I am highlighting some last minute Father’s Day gift ideas that you can put together in little to no time. Even better – these are all gift ideas that men love!

All Hail Gift Cards!

I know sometimes gift cards get a bad rep. And, let’s be honest, you can tell when someone just doesn’t know what to get you, so they give you a random gift card. Hear me out – I am not suggesting you give the father in your life just any ‘ole gift card. Just the opposite. Get him a gift card to his absolute favorite place. This will show him that you know him and love him.

Homemade Gifts He Will Truly Appreciate

If the dad in your life is sentimental, then it is perfectly acceptable to give him something homemade. Many men love homemade gifts because they show you took time to create something special just for them. Plus, since it is Father’s Day, your kids can get involved in the crafting process, making it something even more precious. Check out Good Housekeeping’s list of homemade Father’s Day gifts.

A Meal He Doesn’t Have to Cook

As the saying goes, “The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach.” Whether the dad in your life does some of the cooking or none at all, a good meal is a great gift. Depending on his preferences and your schedule, you can choose between breakfast in bed, a backyard grill-out for lunch, or a fancy dinner.

Sign Him Up for a Subscription Box

I recently raved about my love of subscription boxes (FabFitFun and Daily Look), but subscription boxes are not just for women. There are tons of really cool masculine subscription boxes available offering everything from beard stuff to vinyl records to grilling tools. The fun thing about a subscription box is that it is the gift that keeps on giving. Rather than Dad receiving one gift on the holiday, he will get the subscription boxes throughout the year for whatever duration you select.

Note – Since it is too late to get the first box to him on Father’s Day, print out a picture and a description of the box so he can wait in excited anticipation.

A Day Off

If all else fails, give Dad a day off. While this looks different for every family, it basically means give him a day to do what he wants. This may mean lounging in a recliner with a beer watching sports all day, or it may mean heading to Lowe’s to peruse the aisles. Other men may simply want a day of fun with their family, so load up the car and head to the park or a nearby theme park.

 

All the 👏 👏 👏 for the FabFitFun Summer Box!

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I am all about a good subscription box – especially one as fabulous as FabFitFun! By this point, you have surely heard of subscription boxes, and I am betting you have been tempted to go ahead and order one.

As busy working women (and moms), it is super important to find ways to practice self-care. A carefully curated subscription box, such as the FabFitFun Summer Box, is one of the best ways to do so. Someone else puts together all the self-care items you need!

I recently received my FabFitFun Summer Box, and it is to die for. Today, I’m telling you all about and explaining why it is such a great deal. I have no doubt that after reading about it today, you will be ready to order your own.

What Came Inside

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Each season, FabFitFun puts together a box filled with the most desirable items for women. Their boxes are packed to the brim with fun. For example, as soon as I saw the pretty box, I was excited. Once I opened my Summer Box, I was giddy. It contained great things for my face, including facial masks, facial spray mists, and a makeup setting spray. There were also items to help with my travel like a portable blow dryer and fun jewelry! Plus, as a working mom, I was delighted to discover there was also a gift card for HelloFresh, which is definitely what I need when I want to make quick lunches and dinners for the family!

Why It is a Great Deal

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Now, while most of us can get behind something as fun as a delivery of must-have items, we can all appreciate a good deal. And, that is why FabFitFun is so popular! I get over $200 in products for just $50 per season box, and it's filled with beauty, wellness, fitness, and even tech. It's a little bit of everything, and it fits every part of my working mom lifestyle! Plus, FabFitFun even lets you customize your box. You can either let them surprise or choose products and add-ons.

How You Can Get an Even Better Deal

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Here’s where it gets really good. Inside each box is a mini-magazine that details each product in your box as well as exclusive coupons for brands you find inside the box. But, wait, there’s more! You can use my code to get your first FabFitFun box for even less money! Simply use CHOY10 coupon for $10 off your first box at fabfitfun.com. And, when you do, be sure to tag me in your FabFitFun unboxing pics on Instagram! I can’t wait to see the joy these products bring you.

Deets on How to Score FREE Donuts This Week!

How we feel about free donuts!

How we feel about free donuts!

You guys, June is quickly becoming one of my favorite months of the year. Not only is it the official start to summer, but it is also the month that hosts National Donut Day! Why have we not been making a bigger deal of this holiday? Carbs plus sugar = so wrong its right!

What is National Donut Day?

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If you think I am just messing around, I can assure you National Donut Day is a real thing with real historical merit. The holiday is always celebrated on the first Friday of June, so this year we will celebrate it on June 7, 2019. The holiday officially began in 1938 as a way to honor the Salvation Army workers who served donuts to soldiers during the war. These “donut lassies” uplifted spirits during a difficult time.

When the Great Depression hit, the holiday was created as to fundraise by giving people paper donuts in exchange for a donation. Today, we celebrate with the real thing. While not every donut shop will give back to the Salvation Army, many will give a percentage of the profits they earn on National Donut Day to the Salvation Army.  

Major Franchises That are Participating

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Two of the most popular national donut franchises have already announced they are participating in National Donut Day and will be giving out free donuts this Friday.

Dunkin (formerly Dunkin’ Donuts) is participating. Customers will get a free donut with the purchase of a beverage. You can RSVP to the event on their Facebook page.

Krispy Kreme Doughnuts is giving customers one free doughnut – no purchase necessary! Plus, to sweeten the day, they are encouraging people to tell everyone they know so they can give away 1 million doughnuts. If they hit a million, then they will do another donut giveaway this month!

Don’t Forget to Check Out Your Favorite NYC Donut Shops

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While franchises are great, don’t fret if you don’t have a Krispy Kreme or Dunkin near you. Many local donut shops will likely participate. The best way to find out if your favorite NYC donut shop is participating is to follow the shop on social media. Local businesses frequently post their best deals and promotions on social media before they post them elsewhere.

Speaking of your favorite NYC donut shops, I’m always on the hunt for a new place to visit. Let me know in the comments which donut shop I should take my girls to first – bonus points for free donuts on National Donut Day!

Don’t Worries, Bagels; We Haven’t Forgotten You

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Being a New Yorker means embracing the more savory circular breakfast food – the bagel. Fortunately, we don’t have to leave bagels out of all the holiday fun! Bagels have their own special day! National Bagel Day is celebrated February 9th. Just like National Donut Day, when this special breakfast food holiday rolls around, you can expect to find deals celebrating this festive occasion. Check out this past year’s National Bagel Day Deals.

Only Wearing White Between Memorial Day and Labor Day? Toss that Old Idea.

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If you have lived in the US long enough, you have surely heard that the fashion rule that you should only wear white after Memorial Day and before Labor Day. Well, now that I am officially “allowed” to wear white, it has me thinking about whether or not I want to put all my white clothes, shoes, and bags away come Labor Day. I’m thinking that’ll be a NO.

Some of the Possible Reasons This Rule Existed in the First Place

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Now, if this is a new idea to you or one you’ve bee taught your whole life, you probably don’t know why this fashion rule started in the first place. I didn’t! So, I did some digging and found some interesting tidbits I thought I’d share.

  • According to Reader’s Digest, “Social acceptance for wealthy women was based very much on what you wore—and when you wore it. If you were “on-trend,” you only wore white during the warmer months, since you could probably afford to wear leisurely lightweight clothing—and afford to buy new clothes if you sweat through them.”

  • Then, fashion magazines started promoting and reinforcing the rule in the 1950s.

  • According to the Emily Post Institute, white signified summer resort wear, so there was a distinct shift in seasonal dress for work and play.

Basically, wearing white only during the summer became a way to show you were wealthier than your peers because you could afford to purchase different wardrobes for the seasons. Another fun fact for those of us who live in the Northern US, the rule actually shifts from Memorial Day to Easter in the Southern US.  

Why I Wear White All Year Long

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Have you heard the saying, “Life is short. Take the trip. Buy the shoes. Eat the cake.”? Well, I think the same way when it comes to my fashion choices. Who wants to be told when they can and cannot wear something they love? Life is too short! Plus, white has proven to be classy and chic year-round. If that wasn’t true, then why are American wedding dresses white?

Why You Should Too

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Not only am I encouraging you to wear white all year, but so are the fashion and etiquette experts! The Emily Post Institute says, “Of course you can wear white after Labor Day, and it makes perfect sense to do so in climates where September’s temperatures are hardly fall-like. It’s more about fabric choice today than color. Even in the dead of winter in northern New England the fashionable wear white wools, cashmeres, jeans, and down-filled parkas.” Plus, Coco Chanel famously wore white year-round.

But, There are Still Some Times When White Is Not Right

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Now, I’m not saying to go crazy and show up wearing white to your BFF's wedding. That would definitely be the wrong fashion choice. When you choose to wear white after Labor Day, make sure the fabric choice is right (such as not wearing linen in winter) and an appropriate setting (preferably one where you won’t get dirty easily). And, if this is too rebellious for the rule-followers in the room, opt for off-white in the off-season.

Why You Need to Prioritize Your Marriage (and How)

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Ask anyone who has been married as long as I have, and they will tell you it hasn’t always been easy. And, if they tell you otherwise, they are lying. Marriage is hard, but a strong marriage is worth all the hard work it takes to get it there.

If you and your spouse and both working, you have to learn to balance your relationship with your work life and schedule. If you are parents, you have to learn how to keep prioritizing your marriage when little people are demanding so much of your attention all the time. Between work and kids, if I didn’t prioritize my marriage, it would be easy to let it fall apart. Thankfully, that hasn’t happened.

Whether you are newly married or have been married for decades, the following tips for how to prioritize your marriage may be just what you need to remember why you two got married in the first place.

Date (and Date Some More!)

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Remember when you were first dating, and you could not wait for date night? Do you remember how much effort you put into picking out your outfit and getting ready? After you’ve been married for a while, it is possible to let date nights fall to the wayside – especially if you are busy and have children.

Don’t let this happen! Book a babysitter, get dressed up and go somewhere special! And, if you can’t find or afford a babysitter, go for a lunch date while the kids are in school!

Travel Together

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If you have been following me, you know I believe it is important to travel kid-free with your spouse. This is such a good way to reconnect with one another without the usual distractions.

Don’t Act Like Roommates

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After living together for a lengthy amount of time, you may find yourself acting like roommates instead of spouses. If you seem just to be passing each other on your way in and out the day, it’s time to make a change. Instead, try to identify the behaviors that are more like roommates than husband and wife (see Are You a Roommate or a Spouse Checklist) and then look for ways to reconnect.

Embrace Couple Rituals

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Whether you realize it or not, the smallest rituals can make the biggest difference in a marriage. For example, make it part of your daily ritual to give your spouse a kiss when you get home from work or make a point to discuss your day before you go to sleep.

Find a Hobby You Can Do Together

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A great way to reconnect with your spouse is to embrace a new hobby together. In most relationships, the husband and wife have separate hobbies. But, when they have a unified hobby, it provides a wonderful way to spend time together doing something you both enjoy.

Don’t Check Out – Check In!

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Finally, marriages depend on each spouse being emotionally invested. The best way to stay emotionally invested is to keep checking in. Instead of checking out of the emotional day-to-day of your spouse’s life, check in. For instance, throughout the day, send texts or DMs to one another rather than checking out and talking less and less. Not only will this help you stay connected to one another, but it will also let your spouse know you are thinking of him when you are apart.

The 6 Best Types of Birthday Gifts for Adults

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I recently celebrated a birthday. Another long year and another long number added to my age. I believe birthdays should be celebrated – no matter how many birthdays you have had. 😉

Unfortunately, I have noticed that as we get older, we celebrate birthdays less and less. I’m here to say – no more! Birthdays are not just for kids or milestone birthdays!

But, let’s face it. It is hard, as an adult, to decide how to celebrate an adult’s birthday. What do you give a woman who already has everything she needs? (Keyword – needs NOT wants.)

If you have a birthday coming up or are searching for ideas for a friend’s upcoming birthday, I proudly present the 6 best types of gifts for adults. We each have a celebration type – look through the six ideas below to see which one best fits.

A Grown-Up Party

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Does your loved one love a good party? If so, then a grown-up birthday party is a great choice for celebrating the birthday gal. Replace the kid’s party themes with fancy décor. Swap kid’s foods for an elaborate spread, a five-course dinner, or delicious hors d'oeuvres with adult beverages. Some people like nothing more than partying by their friends and family. If this sounds like your loved one, a party’s the way to go.

Travel to Somewhere Special

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Does your loved one have the travel bug? Has she always wanted to go somewhere exotic? Birthdays are the perfect excuse for traveling. Just make sure you choose to travel to somewhere special for the birthday girl. I was lucky enough to be traveling in Japan for my birthday this year – I highly recommend it!

The Perfect Present

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Is your loved one’s love language gifts? If so, then it is time to go shopping! For many women, receiving the perfect present shows them they are loved and known. When it comes to shopping for the perfect present, do not look for things she needs. Instead, this is when you buy the special items she wants.

The Gift of Experience

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Does your loved one have a thirst for adventure? Rather than throwing a big party or searching for the perfect present, this person will be happiest with a gift of experience. Think adventures such as sky-diving or snorkeling or seeing a Broadway show.

A Day of Rest

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Does your loved one work her butt off day in and day out taking care of everyone else but herself? If so, then you should treat her to a day of rest. For some women, this may mean sleeping in and breakfast in bed. For others, this may mean a day at the spa or a day alone.

Act Like a Kid

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Now, there are times when it is perfectly appropriate (and absolutely necessary) to act like a kid. If your friend is feeling especially old on her birthday, this may be just the right moment to remind her that she isn’t. Take her to an amusement park or out to the dive bar you frequented in college.

Which of these 6 birthday gifts appeals to you the most? Let me know in the comments!

Why Animal Print is Always on Trend

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Open any fashion magazine, and you’ll find tons of animal prints. Everyone is all about animal prints today – but the truth is, we have always been crazy for spots and stripes! Since animal prints appeared in fashion, they have never left. However, this year we are seeing far more than usual making it the perfect time for ladies who have been hesitant before to give it a try. Now, ladies, here are some of the best reasons to embrace leopard, zebra, and snake prints.

Allows You to Subtly Show Off Your Wild Side

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Wearing a pair of animal print heels is a perfect way to show your good fashion sense and sophisticated taste. But, it is also a way to let everyone in on a little secret – you know how to have fun.

The Guardian shares, “In his 1954 manual, The Little Dictionary of Fashion, Christian Dior famously wrote that ‘to wear leopard you must have a kind of femininity which is a little bit sophisticated. If you are fair and sweet, don’t wear it.’ And so the connotations have always been that it’s sexy, a bit raunchy, a bit daring, a bit wild.”

Never Out of Style

Once you add a quality animal print piece to your wardrobe, you can wear it for years to come. You can pass it on to your daughters. Why? Because worn the right way, animal prints are never out of style! Beginning in the 1920s, animal prints have made women feel powerful, and that is not going away anytime soon.

Versatile All Year Long

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Another fantastic reason to add animal print to your wardrobe is that it is so versatile. These types of prints can be worn in the summer or winter. Not only can they be worn throughout the year, but they can also be worn in different ways. Fashion embraces animal print shoes, bags, coats, tights, shirts, dresses, skirts, and accessories.

A Way to Stand Out from the Crowd

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As Dr. Seuss famously said, “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” This is why women go to extraordinary lengths to find just the right purse, pair of shoes, or necklace. We understand that choosing the one right fashion piece can make us stand out from the crowd. When it comes to animal prints, this is especially true. Everyone notices the women in the office with the animal print shoes or coat.

Fun, Fun, Fun!

Last but certainly not least, the main reason to embrace animal prints is that they are so fun! Nothing says “I am woman; hear me roar” like an animal print! They feel frivolous and silly, but they are as far from boring as you can possibly get. They can make any outfit more fun. And, I’m all about having fun with fashion.

PS. No matter your age, you can always rock animal print. I plan to be one ferocious grandmother one day. What do you think?